Pregame: Rangers @ Red Wings – 10/26

The Red Wings host the New York Rangers tonight and will face the Blueshirts with a new set of lines, shaking things up after their 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Pavel Datsyuk will center Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi on the top line while Henrik Zetterberg centers Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar. Stephen Weiss centers Daniel Cleary and Justin Abdelkader as the third like with Joakim Andersson, Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo as the fourth line. Mikael Samuelsson and Patrick Eaves (back from IR but not back in the lineup) will be the healthy scratches. Darren Helm remains on IR after suffering another groin injury.

On defense it will be Niklas Kronwall with Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey with Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff with Jakub Kindl. Johanthan Ericsson remains out with a shoulder injury and Xavier Ouellet has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal opposite Cam Talbot, taking the place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist.

Stupid stat of the game: The Red Wings are winless (0-4) all-time against the Rangers on October 26th but all four of those games have been on the road.

Game time is 7:00 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Fall to Sharks in Shootout After Double Shutout

Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and San Jose’s Antti Niemi each earned a shutout on Monday night but the Sharks came away with the win, as Logan Couture scored the only goal of the shootout for a 1-0 win over the Red Wings.

Howard stopped all 27 shots he faced in 65 minutes of play and forced Patrick Marleau to the outside on the first San Jose shootout attempt before Couture scored on the second.

Niemi made 24 saves before Pavel Datsyuk missed and Daniel Alfredsson fired a shot into him. With the chance to seal the victory, Niemi made a spectacular save on Todd Bertuzzi, recovering from an initial fake-out to lift his pad into the air behind him and knock down Bertuzzi’s shot.

For the only goal of the contest, Couture made a quick fake in the slot and cut to his left, snapping a shot past Howard.

The Red Wings were without defensemen Niklas Kronwall (concussion) and Jonathan Ericsson (paternity leave). Xavier Ouellet made his NHL debut to fill the gap… Prior to the game, forward Luke Glendening was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room on the roster for Ouellet… Mikael Samuelsson was the only healthy scratch at forward.

Pregame: Sharks @ Red Wings – 10/21

The Red Wings host the NHL’s best team tonight minus their top defensive pairing. Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson are both out as the San Jose Sharks come to town.

Kronwall skated this morning and is expected to return on Wednesday against Ottawa, as he’s experiencing no ill effects from the mild concussion suffered in Colorado on Thursday.

Ericsson is out for personal reasons as his wife or girlfriend (depending on who’s reporting, though one would assume they’re the same woman) gave birth to a daughter this afternoon.

With both out, Brendan Smith remains in the Detroit lineup and will be joined by call-up Xavier Ouellet, who will make his NHL debut.

There are also changes up front, as Luke Glendening has been returned to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Justin Abdelkader is back with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss centers Daniel Cleary and Tomas Tatar, Johan Franzen centers Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson, and Joakim Andersson centers Drew Miller and Jordin Tootoo. Mikael Samuelsson will be the healthy scratch.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are a perfect 3-0 all-time against teams from California on October 21. With tonight’s game, they will have played each of the league’s California-based teams exactly once.

Game time is 7:30 on FSD.

Franzen, Datsyuk Score Twice as Red Wings Hand Avs First Loss

Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk each scored a pair of goals on Thursday night, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

The loss was the first of the season for the Avalanche and the first of Colorado head coach Patrick Roy‘s NHL career.

The game started with the Red Wings losing top defenseman Niklas Kronwall. Just 2:13 in, Kronwall crouched to play the puck in the corner of his own end and Colorado forward Cody McLeod came at him from behind, driving his head into the glass.

Kronwall was carried off the ice on a stretcher. The Red Wings later announced that he had a mild concussion. McLeod would receive a five-minute major and be ejected for the hit.

On the ensuing power play Franzen opened the scoring. At 6:08 of the period, Henrik Zetterberg sent a pass from the right wing to Franzen at the edge of the crease. Franzen quickly turned with the puck and flicked it over Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov to put Detroit up, 1-0.

With five minutes left in the first Datsyuk got on the board. Danny DeKeyser threw a shot from the point on net and Datsyuk was there to fling the rebound past Varlamov to extend Detroit’s lead.

Eric Johnson cut that lead to 2-1 at 2:36 of the second with a power play goal. Johnson carried the puck through the neutral zone and into the Detroit end, reaching the top of the left faceoff circle before wristing a heavy, unscreened shot past Red Wings’ netminder Jonas Gustavsson.

With 5:18 left in the middle frame, Gabriel Landeskog tied things up on another power play goal. Off a faceoff win in the neutral zone by Paul Stastny, Landeskog carried the puck into the Detroit end and snapped a shot from the high slot past Gustavsson to make it 2-2.

Franzen restored the Detroit lead with his second power play goal of the night at 7:10 of the third. On a transition play, Justin Abdelkader got the puck in the right faceoff circle and fed Franzen at the opposite faceoff dot for a wrister past a moving Varlamov.

Datsyuk would wrap up the scoring with 6:25 left. Jumping up from the top of the right circle, Datsyuk took a feed from Daniel Alfredsson and backhanded a shot on Varlamov from the slot, then followed it up and knocked his own rebound into the back of the net.

Varlamov finished the night with 24 saves on 28 shots against. Gustavsson – in his third consecutive start as Jimmy Howard recovers from a bruised hand – stopped 38 of 40.

Each team scored twice on five power play attempts.

The Red Wings now travel to Arizona for a Saturday visit to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Brendan Smith, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar were the healthy scratches for the Red Wings.

Pregame: Blue Jackets @ Red Wings – 10/15

Fresh off a 3-2 matinee win in Boston yesterday, the Red Wings host the other team to have made the jump to the Eastern Conference this season as the Columbus Blue Jackets visit Detroit.

With Jimmy Howard still resting his bruised hand (he’s expected to return on Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche), Jonas Gustavsson will make his first-ever regular season start at Joe Louis Arena. Petr Mrazek has been called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to serve as his backup.

The rest of Detroit’s lineup will remain the same as was used in Boston, meaning Brendan Smith, Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar will be the healthy scratches.

Stupid stat of the day: The Red Wings are unbeaten all-time on October 15 against teams of the late-1990s expansion (1-0, a 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on October 15, 2011).

Game time is 8:00 PM (rescheduled from 7:30 PM to accommodate the Tigers’ playoff game) on FSD.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Bruins – 10/14

The Red Wings visit the Boston Bruins for a rare weekday matinee matchup this afternoon.

This will be just Detroit’s fifth afternoon game on a weekday since the start of the 2002-03 season. The other four occurrences were on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2005 and 2011, the 2009 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and the opening game of the 2009 NHL Premiere series in Sweden. The Wings are 2-2 in that span.

There are no expected lineup changes from Detroit’s 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, meaning Mikael Samuelsson, Tomas Tatar and Brendan Smith will all remain healthy scratches.

Game time is 1:00 PM on FSD.

Bertuzzi Boosts Power Play as Red Wings Roll Past Flyers, 5-2

The Detroit Red Wings shuffled their lines heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, a move that immediately paid off as their new-look power play scored three times en route to a 5-2 win.

The Red Wings had been held scoreless on the man-advantage over their first four games of the season.

Forward Todd Bertuzzi moved up from the third line to the first and took a spot on the first power play unit, from which he opened the game’s scoring at 7:13 of the first period. Niklas Kronwall chased a puck into the corner and knocked it loose to Daniel Alfredsson, who sent it to Bertuzzi behind the net. Bertuzzi reached around and tucked it in behind Philadelphia goalie Ray Emery for Detroit’s first power play goal of the year.

Kronwall took a cross-ice feed from Alfredsson to snap a shot from the right faceoff circle past Emery with 8:52 left in the second period to make it 2-0 with another power play tally.

Erik Gustafsson would get the Flyers on the board just 34 seconds later when his shot from the point skipped off the ice and knucked past Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard to make it 2-1.

Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s third goal with the man-advantage at 3:08 of the third period, blindly backhanding a shot from the slot through a screen by Bertuzzi and by Emery to put the Red Wings up, 3-1.

Once again the Flyers responded quickly to cut the lead to a single goal, as Tye McGinn swatted the rebound of a Jakub Voracek chance past the sprawling Howard at 5:46 to make it 3-2.

Henrik Zetterberg scored an even-strength goal with 6:12 remaining, snapping a shot from the high slot past Emery off a feed from Datsyuk, who had kicked the puck from one skate to the other and then onto his stick to gain the Philadelphia zone and start the play.

Zetterberg would round out the scoring with an empty net goal in the game’s final minute.

The Red Wings finished the night three-for-seven on the power play. The Flyers went scoreless on four tries with the extra attacker.

Howard made 32 saves on 34 shots while Emery stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced.

Prior to the game, the Red Wings signed 2013 first-round draft pick Anthony Mantha to a three-year entry-level deal. Mantha, the QMJHL’s leading scorer this season, will remain with the Val d’Or Foreurs for this season with his contract picking up next year at the earliest… Brendan Smith was a healthy scratch on defense as Brian Lashoff made his first appearance of the season. Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar were the odd-men out up front in favor of Jordin TootooLuke Glendening made his NHL debut for the Wings, having been called up on Friday after Cory Emmerton was sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Pregame: Flyers @ Red Wings – 10/12

The Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers in their “Pink the Rink” night in support of breast cancer awareness tonight. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard will wear a special mask, pads, blocker and glove as part of the effort.

The Wings will also roll out a series of lineup changes, as the team looks to rebound from consecutive losses to the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes.

On defense, Brendan Smith will be a healthy scratch in favor of Brian Lashoff, who makes his first appearance of the season.

In goal, Petr Mrazek returns to the Grand Rapids Griffins, with Jonas Gustavsson healthy enough to back up Howard.

Cory Emmerton, having been waived at the start of the season, also heads to GR, with Luke Glendening called up to center the fourth line. Both Mikael Samuelsson and Tomas Tatar will be healthy scratches as Jordin Tootoo joins Glendening with Drew Miller.

Todd Bertuzzi takes Justin Abdelkader‘s spot on the top line while Abdelkader slides down to join the second line with Johan Franzen and Stephen Weiss. Daniel Alfredsson moves down to Bertuzzi’s spot with Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary.

Game time is 7:00 on FSD.

Pregame: Coyotes @ Red Wings – 10/10

After four days off, the Red Wings are back home tonight hosting the Phoenix Coyotes for (technically) the last time, barring a Stanley Cup Finals matchup. Next season the team will be the Arizona Coyotes as part of their new ownership group’s deal with the City of Glendale.

Tomas Tatar is back to being a healthy scratch, replaced by Mikael Samuelsson in the lineup, which means the Wings are back to the lineup that won the first two games of the season. Jimmy Howard gets the start in goal.

Jordin Tootoo is available but will also need to work his way into the lineup. Patrick Eaves is not yet ready but expects to be available by the eleventh game of the season, when he’s eligible to come off long-term injured reserve.

Game time is 7:30 PM on FSD.

Red Wings Dropped by Bruins in Season’s First Loss

The Detroit Red Wings couldn’t get anything going against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Bruins on Saturday night, dropping a 4-1 decision in their first loss of the 2013-14 regular season.

Team captain Henrik Zetterberg scored Detroit’s only goal of the game as the Bruins stifled their offense and – at times – turned their defense inside out.

Livonia-native and former Michigan State Spartan Torey Krug opened the game’s scoring for Boston at 9:11 of the first period. Just 15 seconds into a power play, Krug was left uncovered in the high slot to take a pass from Milan Lucic and blast a shot through a screen by Zdeno Chara and past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

Zetterberg would tie things up with 3:11 left in the period. After Pavel Datsyuk gained the puck in the neutral zone, Justin Abdelkader drove to the net with it, putting a shot on Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask. Abdelkader whiffed on his own rebound but Zetterberg got to it and snapped a shot past Rask to make it 1-1.

Brad Marchand would put the Bruins back in front only 36 seconds into the middle frame. Racing down the right wing, Marchand snapped a shot off the far post past Howard and into the net.

At 7:58 of the period Jordan Caron made it 3-1. After a series of giveaways by the Detroit defenders, Adam McQuaid worked the puck down to Reilly Smith in the slot, who passed it off to Caron in the left circle for a wrister past Howard.

Chara rounded out the scoring with 7:43 remaining in the third period, sneaking in behind defenseman Brendan Smith in the slot to take a feed from Krug and put a backhander past Howard to put the score at 4-1.

The Bruins scored twice on four power plays. Detroit had two chances with the extra attacker on the night.

Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 37 shots. Rask stopped 25 of 26 Detroit chances.

Having completed three games in four nights to start the season, the Red Wings are now off until next Thursday when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.

After sitting for the first two games as a healthy scratch, Tomas Tatar swapped in for Mikael Samuelsson on the Red Wings’ fourth line.